By Walt Frank
Five businesses officially joined the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame Monday night at the Blair County Convention Center.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
Five businesses were inducted into the Blair County Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame Class of 2012 on Monday night. Recipients were (from left): Dan Weaver of Alpha, Ruthann Akers of Child Advocates of Blair County, Scott Filler of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona, Bill Campbell of Hoss’s Steak &?Sea House and Ray Pulcinello of Altoona Tribune.
Members of the Class of 2012 include: Alpha (formerly known as Cookson Electronics), Child Advocates of Blair County, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona and Hoss's Steak & Sea House.
The Altoona Tribune was honored in the heritage category.
The Hall of Fame, established in 1990, now includes 111 firms.
Hall of Fame recipients must have a history of at least 25 years and a lasting effect on commerce generated in Blair County. The heritage category recognizes businesses no longer in operation.
Alpha is a world leader in the development, manufacture and sales of innovative materials used in the electronic assembly markets, said Dan Weaver, director of manufacturing and support.
The company produces solder products for use in a wide variety of markets in the world.
Those products range from printed circuit board fabrication for the electronics industry, solar cells for the photovoltaic industry, radiators for the heat exchange industry, lighting, bearings, fuses and plumbing and heating products.
Election to the Hall of Fame is a great honor, Weaver said.
"It is about the employees. Without the employees, you don't have a company," he said.
Child Advocates of Blair County's board of directors was formed in 1982 to take over the Blair County Head Start program, which had been offered in the county since 1967.
Today, Child Advocates has other programs such as child care for infants, and in 1990, began providing services to pregnant and parenting teens through the Teen Link Connection program, which provides case management services, parent education and services to keep at-risk teen parents enrolled in school.
"It really is an honor to be honored in this way," Executive Director Ruthann Akers said. "Sometimes social service agencies are out there providing their services without being recognized, but this is a way of saying what we do is important."
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona was the first rehabilitation hospital in the United States to hold Joint Commission disease-specific certifications in stroke, brain injury and spinal injury.
The hospital's employees are responsible for the Hall of Fame induction.
"It is a testament to the employees who have made HealthSouth the success it has been," CEO Scott Filler said. "We have a really caring innovative staff that have taken patient outcomes to a higher level."
Willard "Bill" Campbell opened the first Hoss's Steak & Sea House in DuBois in 1983 after he failed to acquire a Western Sizzlin franchise at that location.
The first local Hoss's opened at Valley View Boulevard and Seventh Street on March 5, 1985. Shortly thereafter, the Western Sizzlin in Duncansville became a Hoss's. Today there are 36 locations: 35 in Pennsylvania and one in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Campbell said he was humbled by the Hall of Fame recognition.
Other businesses receiving recognition at the annual dinner included:
n Excellence in Small Business: East Loop Sand Co., L.R. Webber Associates and New Look Uniform Shop/Blair Digitizing Embroidery Manufacturing Co. Inc.
n Community Service Award: Altoona Mirror, Forever Broadcasting and M&T Bank.
n Safety Excellence Award: McLanahan Corp.
n Sustainability Award: Penn State Altoona SIFE.
n Technology Award: EcoIslands LLC .
n Committee Choice Award: Operation SOS.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.